Monday, January 12, 2015

Paul C(r)ook Votes to Allow the Federal Government to Tell California How to Manage its Water for Special Interests (Again)

H.R. 5781, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014 gives the US (federal) Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior (Secretaries) emergency authority, subject to existing water rights, to direct the operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and allow the State Water Project (SWP) operated by the California Department of Water Resources to provide the maximum quantity of water supplies possible to CVP agricultural, municipal and industrial, and refuge service repayment contractors and SWP contractors--NOTHING is allocated to consumers or businesses or water district in the 8th Congressional District--which is pretty parched. What is more amazing is there is no specified limit to the amount of the diversion [See https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr5781#summary].
.
The water in issue is all intrastate (e.g. within the state) so where does Congress find jurisdiction for this take away for special interest corporate and institutional users?

Colonel Paul C(r)ook Discriminates Against Vets by his Vote under HR 22 Assuming SR-22 Does Anything New.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Hire More Heroes Act of 2015'.

SEC. 2. EMPLOYEES WITH HEALTH COVERAGE UNDER TRICARE OR THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION NOT TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN DETERMINING EMPLOYERS TO WHICH THE EMPLOYER MANDATE APPLIES UNDER PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.

    (a) In General- Section 4980H(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following:
        `(F) EXEMPTION FOR HEALTH COVERAGE UNDER TRICARE OR THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION- Solely for purposes of determining whether an employer is an applicable large employer under this paragraph for any month, an individual shall not be taken into account as an employee for such month if such individual has medical coverage for such month under--
          `(i) chapter 55 of title 10, United States Code, including coverage under the TRICARE program, or
          `(ii) under a health care program under chapter 17 or 18 of title 38, United States Code, as determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary.'.
    (b) Effective Date- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013.
Passed the House of Representatives January 6, 2015

Bob's Comment: Ok, so what does it do? It allows employers to NOT count vets in the number of employees considered for purposes of what triggers an Affordable Care Act obligation by an employer. That's all. It does not create a job. It gives no incentives to hire vets. There is no indication it will save any employer money or reduce the number of employers who have to buy coverage. In fact guys, since the Affordable Care Act kicks people out who are already eligible for government funded care, it does nothing, except make for some bizarre press. If it did make a difference (e.g. the vet does not get kicked out because they have an eligible plan), isn't the vet being denial additional care that might pick up a co-pay, a deductible or even allow the vet to make a physician choice he/she can't make under the VA's plan or DOD's plan.
/

Col. Paul C(r)ook's Latest Blathers on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Cook's latest letter shows a pattern & practice of labeling fraud

 . . . "Congressman Cook Votes to Improve Job Opportunities
Congressman Cook was pleased to support bipartisan legislation, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

This legislation is important for many Americans who are looking for work and for the employers who have job opportunities that remain unfilled due to the skills gap – meaning they have been unable to find workers with the training necessary for the job offered. Closing this gap will improve the lives of many American job seekers while helping our economy grow. The bill, which was signed into law, modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st century jobs, and provides support to people with disabilities to enter and remain in competitive, integrated job settings. "

.
Ok you've read the babble, so what does it do??
.
Nothing except burden the existing Job Corps program with reporting, creating new delays in funding and implementation, which is in a fast changing job market and economy, is planned obsolescence

.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
(WIOA) Key Statutorily Required Implementation
Dates for Programs Administered by the Department of Labor
.
SEE: http://www.doleta.gov/wioa/pdf/WIOA-Key-Implementation-Dates.pdf [Chart]
.
January 18, 2015  the Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Education (ED) and Department of Health and Human Services must publish a notice of proposed rule making no later than 180 days after enactment-- so nothing is done to train or create jobs today; if anything this creates a new layer of government to get on the way of releasing funds to needed job training
.
Starting in January 2015, the Job Corps has to submit financial reports ever quarter--so this is legislation adds a burden an existing program with more reporting
.
State & Local Plans: continue to apply for funding in July 2015--
people need help now,  so what is being done now (other than making the Job Corps do more reporting?) 
.
Eligible Training Providers provisions are implemented by Governors & Boards (not later than 12 mos. after enactment)--so based on this, the States and Feds can wait a year!
Template for performance reports by state, local, and Eligible Training Providers must be developed by Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Education within 12 months after the date of enactment--so performance evaluations, which need to be done for funding, can be done a year later--big help!
.
DOL, ED and HHS must publish Final Rules to implement WIOA (18 months after enactment) of by January 22, 2016--wow.... so final implementation won't be (and funding obviously can't happen before implementation folks)!
.
Bob's comment: The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is a way to DELAY funding of job training programs. The Bill was passed in July of LAST year--two years later final rules get enacted to implement the program? So what happens in the interim,  job training is throttled...so in effect it is a funding cut and no action on job training. Money is NOT going out and what little does go out, is forced to endure  (See chart) thresholds that NONE of the existing programs or ones in recent memory had to go through. Maybe Paul Cook needs to go without pay for two years so he can push for implementation of a bill that helps. Paul Cook has been on the dole too long to know a hungry day or the feeling of a repossessed car or foreclosed upon home. Useless. We are leaderless and the people needing job training are serious screwed. Thanks Paul Crook.
.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cong. Paul Cook [CA-08] keeps his Military & Assembly pensions whole while his constituents get theirs cut!

"The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which insures these pensions, says that some 10 percent of multiemployer plans — covering about 1.5 million people — are in such financial trouble that they are likely to become insolvent. The PBGC estimated that its fund insuring multiemployer plans will likely run out of money in eight to 10 years unless changes are made.
.
Some lawmakers argued that these distressed plans need the ability to cut retirees’ benefits so pensions can survive longer.
.
AARP and other consumer advocates argue that these pensions aren’t in immediate danger of insolvency so there is no need to rush this drastic measure without considering alternatives, such as scaling back on optional benefits in a plan or providing the PBGC with greater funds and the authority to intervene earlier. Advocates also worry that this move by lawmakers might someday open the door to similar pension cuts in other plans".

source: http://blog.aarp.org/2014/12/16/those-pension-cuts-and-what-you-need-to-know/ via @aarp
.
So why the cuts--its about stock dividends. When reserves can be cut, that chunk of cash goes into the company's "income" improving "performance" and dividend values.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Corporate Welfare and Subsidized Pollution Activity....Need to Stop it--Great Salon article recapping the tragedy

7 leading candidates for corporate rip-off of the year: Pharmaceutical companies are jacking up drug prices, while Wal-Mart is paying its employees with your money & the Koch Brothers store polluting materials upwind from homes&schools source: http://www.salon.com/2014/11/28/7_leading_candidates_for_corporate_rip_off_of_the_ year_partner/ ?source=newsletter

More Evidence that Col. Paul Cook -R (CA-08) Lied to Get Votes....the Job Bills he voted for and bragged about in his campaign literature are as bogus as he is destructive of our environment

(1) Jobs Bills That Don't Create Jobs: What Republican Control Could Mean

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/30/republican-jobs-bills_n_6227190.html

(2) None Of The 40 Jobs Bills That John Boehner Claims House Republicans Passed Create Jobs
.
http://www.politicususa.com/2014/09/08/40-jobs-bills-john-boehner-claims-house-republicans-passed-create-jobs.html
. 
(3) Economists See Limited Gains in GOP Plan

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/23/us/politics/economists-see-holes-in-a-republican-wish-list.html?_r=0

(4) Boehner’s ‘Bipartisan’ Bunk

http://www.factcheck.org/2014/11/boehners-bipartisan-bunk/